dormouse

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Related to Dormice: Gliridae

dormouse,

name for Old World nocturnal rodentsrodent,
member of the mammalian order Rodentia, characterized by front teeth adapted for gnawing and cheek teeth adapted for chewing. The Rodentia is by far the largest mammalian order; nearly half of all mammal species are rodents.
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 of the family Gliridae. There are many dormouse species, classified in several genera. Many resemble small squirrels. Dormice sleep deeply during the day, and European species hibernate for nearly six months of the year; their name is derived from the French dormir, "to sleep." Best known is the common dormouse, or hazelmouse, Muscardinus avellanarius, of Europe and W Asia, which resembles a mouse with a bushy tail. It is up to 4 in. (10 cm) long excluding the 2-in. (5-cm) tail, with rounded ears, large eyes, and thick, soft, reddish brown fur. Social animals, hazelmice build neighboring nests of leaves and grasses in bushes and thickets. They feed on insects, berries, seeds, and nuts, and are especially partial to hazelnuts. The European, or fat, dormouse, Glis glis, is the largest of the family reaching a length of 8 in. (20 cm) excluding the tail; it has a very thick coat of grayish fur and becomes extremely fat in autumn. It is found in forested regions of Europe and W Asia and lives in hollow trees. The ancient Romans raised it in captivity for food. There are many dormouse species in Africa. The spiny dormice of S Asia belong to a different rodent family, the Platacanthomyidae; they have spines mixed with their fur. The desert dormouse (Selevinia betpakolalensis) is placed in its own family, Seleviniidae. True dormice are classified in the phylum ChordataChordata
, phylum of animals having a notochord, or dorsal stiffening rod, as the chief internal skeletal support at some stage of their development. Most chordates are vertebrates (animals with backbones), but the phylum also includes some small marine invertebrate animals.
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, subphylum Vertebrata, class Mammalia, order Rodentia, family Gliridae.
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dormouse

[′dȯr‚mau̇s]
(vertebrate zoology)
The common name applied to members of the family Gliridae; they are Old World arboreal rodents intermediate between squirrels and rats.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Scientific & Technical Terms, 6E, Copyright © 2003 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.

dormouse

snoozes all through the mad tea-party. [Br. Lit.: Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland]
See: Sleep
Allusions—Cultural, Literary, Biblical, and Historical: A Thematic Dictionary. Copyright 2008 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.

dormouse

any small Old World rodent of the family Gliridae, esp the Eurasian Muscardinus avellanarius, resembling a mouse with a furry tail
Collins Discovery Encyclopedia, 1st edition © HarperCollins Publishers 2005
References in periodicals archive ?
The aim of the present study was to investigate whether dormice from both populations will mostly forage on beech according to the principles of optimal foraging in the year of prodigious quantities of beechnuts.
The PROJECTIN other parts of the country, the hazel dormice are already extinct.
A planning officer said: "These dormice sleep during the winter, so nothing can take place during the winter as they will be hibernating."
A lack of coppicing in woods means the dormice have lost preferred habitat of young tree growth and bushes.
The nest boxes have been attached to trees and filled with branches, water, seeds and fruit for the dormice.
Exeter University analysed records from a national dormice monitoring programme run by the People's Trust for Endangered Species which collects information on the tiny mammals in 17,000 nest boxes in 400 woodlands.
Dr Wendy Harris from Swansea University undertakes the monitoring of dormice at Brynwithan and helps with the monitoring at Rhos Cefn Bryn.
Monitoring of sites for dormice populations in May or June each year has revealed numbers falling by 38% since 2000, the State Of Britain's Dormice report from the People's Trust for Endangered Species (PTES) said.
The fasted dormice showed considerably greater use of torpor, enabling them to maintain high growth rates and accumulate sufficient fat reserves.
The dormice, which were a food favourite with the Romans, hang around the edges of the pages offering tongue-in-cheek comments on the characters.
Dormice rarely touch the ground, spending most of their non-sleeping time climbing through tree branches.
Audrey Watson, BASC''s Green Shoots North Wales officer, said: "I had checked the boxes in the summer and was disappointed not to find any evidence of dormice.